Date: September 21, 2022
Name of podcast: Backstage Pass Radio
Episode title and number: S3: E9: Felix Hanemann (Zebra / Kashmir - Who Owns The Keyless Door
Artist Bio -
Felix Hanemann formed the band Zebra in February 1975 with guitarist and singer Randy Jackson and drummer Guy Gelso, with Felix playing bass, keyboards, and backing vocals. Atlantic Records signed Zebra in 1982 and their self-titled debut record was released in March 1983. The album stayed on the Billboard charts for eight months, peaking at number 29. Zebra has continued to record and perform, going into their third decade with six albums to their credit.
Social Media Handles:
Facebook - @backstagepassradiopodcast @randyhulseymusic
Instagram - @Backstagepassradio @randyhulseymusic
Twitter - @backstagepassPC @rhulseymusic
Website - backstagepassradio.com and randyhulsey.com
Artist Media Handles:
Website - www.thedoor.com
Twitter - @Felix_Zebra
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Felix Hanemann - Zebra
Mon, 9/12 6:43PM • 1:28:51
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Randy Hulsey, Felix Hanemann, Adam Gordon
Randy Hulsey 00:00
This evening we will be completing a trilogy. What's going on people. It's Randy Hulsey here with backstage pass Radio. I'm going to take you out to the northeast to catch up with my guest this evening. He's been laying down the rhythm section and a band that has been rockin for 47 years. He is the backup vocalist, keyboardist and bass player for one of my favorite bands of all time, both of his bandmates have been on the show and tonight we complete the three piece set, as we get to sit down with Felix Hanuman of the rock band zebra when we return.
Adam Gordon 00:31
This is backstage pass radio, the podcast that's designed for the music junkie with a thirst for musical knowledge. Hi, this is Adam Gordon. And I want to thank you all for joining us today. Make sure you like subscribe and turn the alerts on for this and all upcoming podcasts. And now here's your host of backstage pass radio, Randy Halsey.
Randy Hulsey 01:01
Felix, welcome to the show, man. What's happening up in New York these days?
Felix Hanemann 01:05
Well, thanks for having me on Randy, I'm glad to finally be the last piece of the puzzle.
Randy Hulsey 01:11
That was not meant in any kind of way, right? It just so happened that the other two were on first. So I was able to reach out to them first. So that's probably on me.
Felix Hanemann 01:20
I know, you know, you've been very patient with me, you know, trying to corral me to get to do this. You know, zebras are very unreliable.
Randy Hulsey 01:29
Well, that's self admitted. So we'll, we'll have to go with that one. But I do appreciate you finally taking the time and getting to sit down with me and, and chat a little bit about all the years with some wonderful guys there. I think you know, I mentioned to you pre going live that I met up with you backstage there at Rice rooftop when you guys were in town and spent a couple of minutes with you. And that's where I'd asked you for the interview. And I said, Well, we'll set something up later on. So you were gracious enough to get that guitar signed and the album sign. So thank you so much for that. I appreciate you.
Felix Hanemann 02:07
You're welcome. That was a great night. I'm glad you were there. Because that was a you know, it started out pretty bad because we were so late, you know, we'd run into some serious traffic and accidents. We weren't far we were in Lafayette on our way to Houston for that evening. You know, plus, we had the two acts that were before us. And we were very concerned that we weren't going to get everything going. But man, I'll tell you everybody was really very cooperative. The sound guy and everybody at the club were very cooperative. I mean, it really made everything work great. And then the audience couldn't have possibly been better. I mean, it was like they were waiting, you know, but that was, I guess Randy might have went over that, you know, that was actually our third booking there because we had had it booked before the pandemic, and then the pandemic happened. And I forget what the second time was, or maybe they weren't available or they couldn't do it for the date that we were available rush. And then finally everything came together with our date and Lafayette and then being able to travel from Lafayette to use them really kind of sealed the deal for us. And it all worked out really well. I mean, it was great to be back in Houston. I can't really can't remember the last time we were actually in town there. You know, because we used to play Houston quite a bit, but for sure. Played at Southwest corner. There was a lot of clubs, parties, our age, I think, and a bunch of different clubs there. So we used to play Houston a lot.
Randy Hulsey 03:40
Well, I was going to tell you when you said there was traffic coming from Lafayette you know, we had the conversation right before we went live and I told you that you know, I spent time in Lafayette at USL right, and the freeway has never changed on ITN from Lafayette to Houston. It's always been a shitshow since 84 When I went to school there and we were just in I think we went to Alexandria and we came back down through Lafayette and came back to Houston and I said wait a minute. This road 10 looks exactly like it did when I was going to college here. It's not gotten any better. But yet there's always construction on it. Like I just don't get it. I really
Felix Hanemann 04:18
don't think that was infuriating was that, you know, as we were because they had pushed everybody on to the service road of the i 10. Right. And from about Beaumont or maybe even further back, you know a little bit past the Louisiana State Line or right into the Texas State Line was where it all had started. And you know, and it was actually a beautiful day that day. And it was a Saturday and there was no and I had all the gear out there all this you know, road construction material and gear and machines and everything and not one soul on the highway for miles. It's you know as like they took a lunch break for like a year or something. No,
Randy Hulsey 05:03
actually, I think the break has been since 84. Just like I said, they put all the cones, the same cones are still on the freeway like nothing's changed. It's like a ghost town. Anyway, we could ran about that all day long. Nothing's going to change there. I don't think but no. I wanted to share with you kind of the story of where I heard about zebra, initially, and this friend of mine that turned me on to you guys back in 83 was actually he came in from Lafayette for the rise rooftop show. So he was in attendance, but he and I were must have been juniors, maybe going into our senior year in high school and we were coming back from Washington, Texas, traveling to Lafayette, and he said, Dude, you got to hear this band and he popped in this cassette tape in his in his dad's van his dad was a urologist in Lafayette. So we had his dad's van, and he popped in zebras debut album, and that was the first time that I ever heard you guys play was going down. I 10 and a in a Chevy van in 1983. So I wanted to share that story with you there.
Felix Hanemann 06:10
That sounds like a good spot.
Randy Hulsey 06:12
Absolutely. Absolutely. So run us back to growing up in New Orleans. Where in New Orleans Did you grow up specifically?
Felix Hanemann 06:25
I lived in the city I was 25 blocks from the from the river. I lived on St Philip's Street. And I was in between the Mississippi River and Bayou St. John. So I was not that far from where the fairgrounds are where they have to just
Randy Hulsey 06:45
fast. Okay, gotcha. And what kind of kid you know, growing up in New Orleans, what kind of kid were you growing up? Were you were you a sports kid? Were you a music kid? You know, what was Felix doing back as a as a young young man growing up.
Felix Hanemann 07:00
I was really a music kid, my dad, my dad, nobody in my family, unfortunately played any music, you know, or played an instrument. And I'll tell you a little story about that in a second but, but my father loved Christmas music and he loved Dixieland jazz and jazz. He had a great collection of Christmas music and Dixieland jazz, he loved al Hirt and Pete fountain. And you know, the firehouse five plus two, I think it was a lot of different jazz Dixieland jazz bands, even back then, who were pretty big. And he loved all that stuff. So I listened to a lot of that stuff when I was a kid. And I was also I was in chorus, or choir, however you want to describe it from the time I was in first grade, all the way through college. And the last thing I did in college was we did all of Handel's Messiah, in German, okay. In my college course,
Randy Hulsey 08:02
time, interest, so
Felix Hanemann 08:04
that's where I started. But of course, you know, the whole thing is, like many people who saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan was the end of the, or the beginning of the road for me, you know, when I picked up a tennis racquet, and I tried to play it and pretend I was one of them.
Randy Hulsey 08:21
Yes, I had a guest not too long ago said that he would do the same thing tennis racket and put a towel on his head to simulate the long hair. Yeah, I didn't either jelly mentioned that, you know,
Felix Hanemann 08:37
before then everybody in my my town or, you know, that of that age, you know, had crew cuts, you know, through cuts.
Randy Hulsey 08:46
That's always interesting. You know, I talked to a lot of people on the show, and they either come from very musical backgrounds, or they come from no musical background, like, there's never this happy medium. You know, like, like, for me, my mom was a a dabbling pianist. Right. My dad, okay, nothing, right. But I've been I've had it both ways where, you know, some people say, Well, my mom and dad were both professional musicians. So they just followed suit, right? And then, you know, like, you're saying, really, you know, my dad liked to listen to the radio or whatever, but he didn't play an instrument and you know, mom didn't play an instrument and you just kind of develop that on your own. It sounds like
Felix Hanemann 09:30
well, my father was into high five Believe it or not, you know, back then he had a beautiful stereo. And he loved really great stereos and he had a really nice collection of records. Okay, so you know, that kind of got me interested in playing records. And but of course, like I said, The Beatles were the thing but talking about not having a musical family, my brother before me, I'm the last of seven. So I have four brothers and two sisters before me and my The brother that's the closest in me to age decided he told my parents that he wanted to join this school band. And back then, you know, you could rent an instrument and you could, you know, play the instrument and it was a clarinet. Okay. And for some reason or another, I don't know why my parents decided rather than pay rent for it, they decided that they were going to buy it and I think the clarinet at that time was about 100 bucks, which was a lot of money and I can 6465 66 somewhere up in there. Okay. And so he decided after they purchased the clarinet that, you know, he wasn't interested anymore. So they had the clarinet. clarinets come in a nice little case. Looks like a pokey. Yeah. And he put it on the on the under their night table, and they kept it there was a reminder for what they're not going to do for the next person to come around, which was me. And so once I saw the Beatles, I wanted to get a guitar, you know, and then I had to save up. I don't know if you're old enough to remember what S and H green stamps were about? To give them out? at grocery stores a little bit your parents bought groceries. So I had to lick a bunch of stamps and save a bunch of books to get my first guitar and an S and H green stamp on display store, whatever you call them.
Randy Hulsey 11:23
Yeah. Do you remember what the guitar was?
Felix Hanemann 11:25
I don't it wasn't really a known instrument. It was actually kind of looks like what they have now. Which is kind of like a hollow body electric. But it was neither electric. And it was about that thin. It wasn't really a hollow body per se. And but it did have six strings on it did have tuning. And I think the first lick that I learned on it was Winchester cathedral. Okay. Remember that do?
Randy Hulsey 11:56
I do? Absolutely. Well, it's really interesting. When I talked to guests about how they got their start, and I had a gentleman by the name of Jimmy fortune on my show, Jimmy is the tenor for the Statler brothers. And he said back at you know, he was born up in Virginia, and he said, we were so poor, so poor, but we lived close to a dump. And one day, one day, he found an old guitar in the dump that had two strings on it. And that's what he learned on. And you fast forward. However, many years later, and he's a four time Hall of Fame musician now, like, isn't it? That's crazy. And then you you know, saying the same thing you you know, you're a Hall of Fame musician, yourself, right in your own right. And it's funny to hear the Hall of Fame musicians learn on the simplest of instruments sometimes, right? Well,
Felix Hanemann 12:50
I mean, because like you said, you know, most people don't start off with wealthy parents or being able to get that first electric guitar or a really nice acoustic guitar for that matter. You know, and, you know, usually, parents gave people you know, the Mickey Mouse guitars that had a little crank on it wasn't even a guitar it had, you know, kind of like nylon strings and it had some tuning pegs but it really was just a toy.
Randy Hulsey 13:21
Yeah, you just wound it and it played music right if I remember correctly, yeah, for sure. Music Box were absolutely at you know, at what age do you think it dawned on you that music is going to be a living for me? Some people figured that out really early. Was it later for you? Do you remember?
Felix Hanemann 13:40
I was pretty serious about it. I have my my first band. You know, I when I was 14, we were up and playing you know, we we got a band together. I was playing bass. That's another story I had. I had bought a Japanese knockoff of a Hoffner base like Paul McCartney plays. And there was a music store down a few blocks away from me by my house in New Orleans, it was called CAMPOs music store. And I used to go there and look go in that store and drool all the time. You know, and look at that time you know that you're talking to 60s. They used to have super beetles in their super beetle amps and there used to have the VOCs keyboards with the black keys with the white flats and all that stuff. All that stuff was happening back then. So all of that gear was in there, you know, tear Tear Drop Box guitars and all kinds of stuff, but I was able to buy a knockoff of the Hofner was a Japanese thing. It was about 125 bucks. Okay. And I was I was working for for a pharmacy company. I was delivering pharmacy drugs for a drug store in a local drugstore by bicycle. And I was delivering drugs for like 50 cents an hour and with plus tips and my father Uh, had asked me, you know, how much money do I have? Because you know, back then I had layaway layer, which is a big deal, you know? So 125 bucks I can't remember whether I had 50 bucks on there or 75 bucks he asked me how much it was I think I told him 75 He asked me what the balance was, I told them it was 50 bucks. And he reached in his pocket a guest he must have been prepared. You reached in his pocket and he gave me the other 50 bucks. So I ran from the, from my backyard to the store. I know when the bought and the guitar has always come in that like, you know, pizza shaped box, you know, they look they look like a triangle or something. Exactly. And I ran with it, you know, under my arm all the way back home. I didn't even get a case for it. Couldn't wait to get at home.
Randy Hulsey 15:44
The cardboard box was the case.
Felix Hanemann 15:45
Once I started playing on everything I started I had my first band together. I was playing bass. I had a friend of mine named Terry, who was a rhythm guitarist. My friend Danny Luthor was playing lead guitar and my friend David frisbee was the drummer. And we were the salt and pepper conspiracy.
Randy Hulsey 16:02
Wow. And that was the very that was the very first one. Hmm, yeah. And we used
Felix Hanemann 16:07
to do stuff like skypilot live for today by the grassroots. 99 and a half, I think was by Sam and Dave, I'm not really sure. There's a couple of different songs. I can't really remember a lot of them, you know, because it was really a long time ago.
Randy Hulsey 16:26
So it was all covered, though. You weren't? You weren't really writing.
Felix Hanemann 16:29
At that time. Yeah. Yeah. But we got to play a club that was have live bands on the feed Street in New Orleans near the break tech station and was called the hullabaloo because back then, you know, they used to have all of those television shows, called the hullabaloo and all kinds of different music shows. Yep, which were variety music shows. And so this place was called the hullabaloo. And we actually got to play that gig. So that was fun. Very cool.
Randy Hulsey 16:59
And when When did you wind up leaving New Orleans and make the transition out to Long Island?
Felix Hanemann 17:06
Well, there's a lot of different things that took place before that happened. Randy was working at a club called the library, by the by the University of New Orleans, you know, and the guy who owned that club Act, which was kind of funny, that club was called the library, but it was by the college. So we always tell the parents were at the library. And so, but this other club was owned by the same guy, which was in the French Quarter where a guy would work in that place was called the roach. So he knew both Randy and guy and he knew that Randy was a guitar player. And he knew that guy played drums with other bands and stuff. And he introduced Randy and Guy together and they said, you know, why don't we play. But before that happened, Randy and I and this guy named Eldridge had I had a band that was my original material. And a guy named rusty house who was the drummer and a guy named Tony calcic was the bass player. And that was that was, was the name of that band.
Randy Hulsey 18:13
Shepherds Bush. Was it not shepherds?
Felix Hanemann 18:15
Yes, yes. Yeah, shepherds, Bush. And so that was an all original band. And that band lasted for about, I don't know, six or nine months or something like that, you know, and never really got off the ground. So that kind of bummed me out. But then guy and Randy got together, you know, once that guy introduced them, and so they were practicing in my apartment, you know, and they were looking for other people to play in a band. And I wasn't interested because I was bummed out that the you know, the Shepherds Bush thing didn't get around. So they were looking for players and they kept going, you know, why not? Come on? Why don't you play? Why don't you play so I finally relented, and we started playing and then we were looking for well, we got them. We got together with another guy who was the keyboard player and he was a friend of Randy's his name was Tim Thorson. And we started playing stuff. And the name of that band was maelstrom. Malstrom. Yep. Yeah. And so we that band actually played some really live gigs. We did some proms and things of that nature. So that was the core of what zebra was, that was me, Randy and guy with this guy named Tim Thorson, who was playing keyboards. And we were doing stuff like Bowie and Elton John and Bachman, Turner, overdrive, all that kind of different stuff, all the good stuff. And then, you know, Tim, decided he wasn't going to stay with the band anymore. And so it was just the three of us. And then Randy decided that he wanted to us to start trying to do the zipline stuff. And we kept looking for a singer and we couldn't find a singer. So Randy was actually singing the stuff to keep us afloat while we were doing his stuff. And that's really kind of how he developed his falsetto. Yeah. And the more we kept looking no harder it was to find anybody. And you know, we were getting impatient about it. And we, Randy's father had a friend of his that owned a warehouse across from Randy's father's office, which was right, right in the heart of the French Quarter. And we were practicing at this warehouse, and we practice at that warehouse, all of our material, you know, we used to do, we were even writing he was writing, you know, originally, even then, we were doing mostly covers, and we were doing Zeplin, we were doing stones, we were doing Montrose, we were doing Aerosmith a lot of different stuff. And so, we practiced with that band for six months, and we put a lot of time into what we were doing five days, a weeks, or six days a week, you know, three, four hours a night for six months. And then we decided, you know, we're gonna have a couple of friends of ours, those guys from new Randian guy who will club owners, and we asked them if they you know, could come in, come and see the band, you know, what did they think, would they hire us and all this stuff, and, you know, it was about three or four guys, maybe five guys who came to see the band, you know, and we, we played our set, you know, we only did like one set, maybe, I don't know, six, eight songs, not a lot, not a long set. And they said, You guys sound pretty good. What's the name of the band, and we weren't? We didn't know. We didn't even you know, we were so focused on you know, making sure that the band was good. After all the different iterations of things we had gone through, we decided, you know, to really concentrate on the music rather than worry about, you know, what we were, you know, we're going to name ourselves or what we're going to look like any of that stuff, you know, when we were really more interested in trying to make sure that we were
Randy Hulsey 21:42
musically sound. Yeah. For the music. Yeah. Well, I think that's a great segue into maybe sharing where the name zebra came from, right? Once you share that with the listeners, because I'm not sure a lot of people know how the name was derived.
Felix Hanemann 21:56
Well, we went well, once we did that, that audition, you know, then they asked us to the name, you know, we were, we had a meeting together, we went to this place called the boot on, I think Napoleon Avenue was a town somewhere in New Orleans. The reason it's called the boot is because anybody that knows the with the physical state of Louisiana looks like it looks like a boot. And so we were sitting in this booth, drinking a couple of pitches of beers we both brought, you know, everybody brought their lists of names. And everybody liked their list of names, but not anybody else's lists of names. You know, I had names like champagne and cloud and all kinds of different stuff. And in the meantime, there was this picture of a lady riding a zebra, from a Vogue magazine cover from 1926. It's really quite an attractive cover. And so one of us looks up and says, Let's just call it zebra. We agreed. And that was the end of it. So that's how the name came to be. A lot of people think it had something to do with the Z's with the zipline and stuff like that. But it really had nothing to do with any of that stuff. But we were lucky because it's an easy name. It's memorable.
Randy Hulsey 23:08
Well, Randy, Randy had told me kind of the background on the name. And he said, I'm really glad that we settled that in there that night, because had we not, we might have walked out and seen a bus going by and might have just called ourselves the bus. We don't know what we would have called ourselves, right. And we not decided on
Felix Hanemann 23:27
because, well, the thing about it was where that warehouse was where we practiced was named Decatur Street, and we were just going to just call ourselves Decatur. But then we looked it up in general Decatur I think was a some, I think was a Confederate General or something like that. I don't know, who didn't have such a great reputation. So we decided not to maybe
Randy Hulsey 23:48
not a good idea. Yep. Yeah.
Felix Hanemann 23:50
I mean, we weren't thinking about those kinds of issues back then. We were just worried about you know, whether it would be you know, Sound okay, you know,
Randy Hulsey 23:58
absolutely. Well, I'm gonna take a 32nd timeout to make a sponsor drop. Don't go anywhere. Felix I'll be right back. You got it. Welcome back, you guys visiting with Felix Hanuman of the rock band zebra. So you know, we were on the conversation of the band how it got started Felix, the debut record for zebra hit the shelves what an 83 and became one of the fastest or the fastest selling debut record in Atlantic history. Is that correct? Yes. Okay. And then I think the album probably stayed on the charts for what six to eight months or something. It was a long time.
Felix Hanemann 24:45
A long time we we toured that record for about nine months we we toured with I'm not sure what the line was at the beginning, but we did I'm pretty sure it was low. Have a boy. Yeah, which was you know, everybody's working for the weekend stuff. We were fortunate enough to be out during the eliminator tool with ZZ Top. Yes. We did a cheap trick. And we did. But an REO Speedwagon came much later. And then also Sammy Hagar came up with that's way past the first record that was during the I can't drive 55 tour. So I think the first several months, you know, it was Loverboy, who did an extensive tour, and I think the other one was either ZZ Top or cheap trick. I remember being on with cheap trick for a very long time.
Randy Hulsey 25:42
Yeah, I remember I saw you guys live opening for Loverboy at the summit in Houston. I don't remember the year I'm horrible with dates. But I did have Doug Johnson, the keyboard player from for Loverboy on my show, and oh, yeah, I remember the show. Well, it's the memory is pretty fantastic. If you can remember, well, they were
Felix Hanemann 26:04
jet that they had going on that their stage show was great. I don't know if you saw you remember going to that show. But they had a laser show that was really unbelievable. They were cones going down over the top of them. And it was really wild. And they were really a very tight band actually
Randy Hulsey 26:22
a great band. What the listeners through the debut record comes out self entitled. What What kind of craziness was going on for you guys, you know, you talk. We were shepherds, Bush things didn't work out. We're trying to pull a name together for this band. Next thing you know, 83 rolls around. And you know, it's like, I mean, I was telling somebody on the show. Maybe Tony Hazleton I said there's like three albums. And all my time of listening to records that just does it for me from front to back. And zebras debut album is one of them.
Felix Hanemann 27:02
Thank you so much. Yeah, for sure. And
Randy Hulsey 27:03
I was telling Tony, that they're so fired up record back in around the same time when when Fergie was with the band, right? That that back to back is one of the greatest albums for me of all time. And it could have played into the fact that I was in school and Lafayette at the time. And you know, you guys were from Louisiana. But what kind of craziness was going on where things getting really crazy for you guys at that time?
Felix Hanemann 27:28
I tell you, it really wasn't that crazy, because we had that took eight years we were together from 1975. Up until that time. Yes. And all that time, we were a very heavy working band. Yes. I mean, we were working five and six nights a week for eight years. So the band was very well till toned. The band was very adept at performing. It has done years and years of it. And, you know, in fact, it took us so long to get a record deal was almost like, you know, well, you know, thank God, we finally got one, you know, because it was almost to the point to where we resign, resign that we were never going to get one, you know, it seemed to be an inevitable that we weren't going to get one. But the thing about asking about whether it was crazy, the only time because we had been clay in New York and New Orleans for so long. We were used to, you know, some minor fame at the time and people know and who we were and, you know, dealing with Planet clubs playing with large audiences and, and traveling we traveled quite a bit, you know, through all throughout New York, all throughout Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, we played in New Jersey, we played in Connecticut and played you know, many other different places all that time, you know, and then once that, but once that record came out, you know, and it was really kind of the beginning of MTV. So that's where the craziness came in. The craziness came in, was when we and and you have to remember to at that time, you know, there was still mom and pop radio stations, there was a station called oh gosh, I guess I'm not gonna remember the damn station now out in St. Louis. Can't remember his obviously started with a K. Anyway, they they were put the record in heavy rotation. And so that was one of the first times we've ever played in St. Louis. And so we were playing at Six Flags Over St. Louis Right. You know, those are beautiful, outdoor venues, you know, and they're big parks. And so was the first time we ever played there the records are already been there. That's why we were there. The record was doing great there we were in heavy rotation. And so you know, we go there we do soundcheck and whenever you go to those parks, I always give you like a risk Standard means you can go walk around the park and you can do whatever you want you go take the riser, whatever, you know, it's one of the perks of having to be at the show and doing one of the shows there. So we finished the soundcheck and so I'm thinking to myself, well, no big deal. Great. I'm just gonna go walk out, and I'm gonna go walk around the park, and I'm gonna go check it out. As soon as I walked out, I got like, 100 people standing in line with records in their hands. The first time I ever stepped in St. Louis, and I'm going, wow, this stuff works. So because everything else that people knew a spy was only ever seeing us live, never, you know, hearing the records or seeing videos at all. It's pretty impressive to me that you know that that's what all that stuff does. You know how those that promotion works. And it's instantaneous. And it's instant recognition. You know, because once I stepped out there, you know, they all knew who I was, and they were all ready for me to sign I was I truly I guess it was maybe just naivety? I don't know, it just didn't expect that I was really kind of blown away that all those people were waiting, you
Randy Hulsey 31:12
know? Yeah. And I don't I don't know if there's a right or wrong answer. But and I really didn't even have the question queued up and you made me think about it. When you get to a level of stardom, and you know, there's the Steven Tyler's of the world, there's, you know, the Felix Hanuman is of the world, there's the Randy Hulsey, he's of the world right, but at your level, right? Does this the the adoring fan? Does that ever get old people coming up? And just, you know, Hey, I saw, you know, 1337 years ago, remember me? And it's like, no, no.
Felix Hanemann 31:50
One of the greatest gifts that we have, after being together this long for 47 years. And you know, sometimes we're playing shows, and we know, a lot of those people who have been following the band for the first time they ever saw us. I mean, we've known people who've gotten married to other people who were other people who were the part of the audience who became friends because they knew the band. Yeah, that's crazy. So yeah, I mean, you know, very fortunate because you can't you, you can't exist without your fans that they are what you are, you know, if they, if they show up, then you still have a job.
Randy Hulsey 32:33
Yeah. I was gonna say if they go away, so So do you, right? Exactly. You know, I know you guys got on that MTV bandwagon a little bit. And I think there were maybe more than I know, and you can educate me but I know you guys had who's behind the door and I think bears
Felix Hanemann 32:53
on the door and tell me what you want with the two from the first record. Okay. And then summer's gone. And bears was from the second row. Okay. And can't live without was from the 3.5.
Randy Hulsey 33:05
Okay, so you had you had five? Okay. Do you feel like MTV changed your career at all? Like that? Absolutely.
Felix Hanemann 33:13
Yeah, is fascinated with it, because it had only been out about a year or so right? Before we were we were had our record come out. Sure. It wasn't, it was brand new, it was 82. So you know, we got to meet them, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter and JJ Jackson and Mark Goodman and Nina Blackwood. And all those people, you know, it was, at that time, we were, you know, a pretty good get, you know, we were getting interviewed by every one of those DJs at that time. And, you know, it was a lot of fun. I mean, you know, we they would interview you, they would ask you a questions and you know, you would be able to push the record and they would play the video. And you know, if people liked the video, then the video we'd get into pretty good rotation. And because the exposure was was fantastic, you know,
Randy Hulsey 34:03
I can't remember who I was having the conversation with. But I said MTV was so ahead of its time, because if you remember back in the, in the 70s, you know, I think back to all of the groups that I love so much from the 70s exile and 10 cc and in all these bands, and you listen as a kid, you listen to all of this stuff, but you never were able to put a face to a name like I knew I had no idea of what Nick Gilder looked like that that hot child in the city. I thought it was a girl forever, right? Until MTV rolled around. It's like, Wait, oh, that's what zebra looks like or Oh, that's what you know, you know what I'm saying? So yeah, it gave you guys identity, I believe and yeah, it's so it was. It was definitely an amazing thing. I wouldn't say that MTV is the same as it was back in the day for sure. But I think definitely play
Felix Hanemann 34:53
music videos anymore, right? I mean, you know, to me, it was it was intriguing. I you know, I I mean, I watched it. I thought it was fun to watch. I mean, they had so many different genres, you know, you get wrapped whether you like them or not, you know, you had a flock of seagulls. You had the cars. You had twisted sister who was fun to watch. Pat Benatar was doing them back then and a lot of bands, but they were mostly 80s bands and maybe some late 70s bands. I'm not really sure ZZ Top was great at it. They have grown videos, you know, because that was doing the eliminator tour, you know, and they were doing terrific with that. So there was a lot of, you know, and then you had, then they really stepped it up, you know, with Peter Gabriel. His stuff was incredible. Sure. And so was Genesis when they had like the Muppet things that look like them, you know? And, you know, so there was a lot of people who jumped in on that, who made really great inroads on video, it was a completely different genre. And it was also, you know, a way to present your music in a way to present what what you wanted for an image as well.
Randy Hulsey 36:06
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I wanted to rewind for just a quick second and I was thinking was it during the Shepherds Bush time or was zebra full blown play in went when you guys were doing old man rivers?
Felix Hanemann 36:20
No, that was zebra.
Randy Hulsey 36:22
Okay, zebra okay. So Okay, gotcha. Okay. I was trying to, I was trying to put the two together and see where it married. Okay,
Felix Hanemann 36:30
so the timeline for zebras 1975 75 Yeah, yeah. Because before that was the guy Tim Thorson that was in that band. And that was maelstrom. So zebra really came out of that band, even though Randy and I were in another band, which was my original band, which was, which was Shepherds Bush. But, you know, but old man rivers, any of those places, even any, almost all of the other shows, Lafayette, any of that stuff is all zebra, you know, zebra once and we got we had an agent called Big J Productions, which was Jim McGinnis and his wife, Pam McGinnis, who were very adept at booking us all over the place in Louisiana. I mean, there's very, very few places that we did not play in Louisiana. We probably played so many towns in Louisiana. It's not even funny. Sure.
Randy Hulsey 37:19
I think I may be wrong. I have. I had a good buddy that was actually on the show and just recently passed, but it seems like Josie Jones, you know, back from the sweet savage days, they were big headliners there. cardies. And, and backstage just seemed like they might have been in with the mcginnises Somehow, but maybe not. I don't know. But yeah, but you mentioned the name and it
Felix Hanemann 37:45
automatically was booked by Big J. Okay, alien X. Okay.
Randy Hulsey 37:49
Well, you've kind of written the zebra wave for 47 years now. Congrats on the success. But I think around 2000, there was a Led Zeppelin cover band formed by the name of cashmere, right. Talk to the listeners a little bit about the band
Felix Hanemann 38:07
cashmere. Well, I had another band called Hindenburg that was a zeppelin cover band. And that was formed by a guy named Moore kid who was a guitar player in New York by the name of the band called Rat Race choir, which was the very first band that we opened for in New York. So and we've been knowing Mark forever. And Mark's written songs with Randy, he wrote Arabian Nights with Randy, in fact, on the fourth zebra record, and so he put a zipline tribute band together. And that band played all over the place, but mostly in New York. And then cashmere had been together since about 2000, somewhere up in there. And the drummer Paul Cooper had known us from from Atlantic Records, and we used to record at Atlantic Records recording studio, which is near Columbus Circle in Manhattan. And Paul was friends with a producer named Beau Hill who used to do people like Fiona and a couple of other acts in there. And Paul knew us from there. And then Paul did a few things. He had an original band called Chaos from otter or something like that, and did some shows with Randy when Randy was doing his solo stuff. So we all kind of knew each other. And Paul was in that band cashmere. He's still the drummer now. And they had these other three guys. And they had the John Paul Jones guy, for whatever reason, they approached me and asked me if they ever needed a sub, what I would I do it for them. And I said, Well, yeah, so but you know, I'm really kind of tied up with with Zebra and I'm still doing Hindenburg and I said, you know, but if it doesn't interfere with any of those dates and my dates don't collide with them or yours, then you know If you haven't a problem and I'm available, I'll be glad to do it. So Hindenburg, Khanna Hindenburg stayed together for almost 20 years, but it was often on quite a bit. And then it kind of just started dissipating, even though it really kind of just broke up just recently because Mark and the guy budgie Werner, who was the drummer, Steve, budgie, Werner, is still playing together, and another original and cover band right now. However, I so I started playing more and more with cashmere, and then that, you know, so and then one month, out of the time that we were together had there, the guy who was the member of the band, it was an October or something, they must have had, like eight dates booked. So they were playing every weekend. So it was like 2468, you know, and I think he could only make like, two of them. So at the end of the month, you know, I'm playing most of the shows, and they're all just kind of looking at me and I'm looking at them and going well, you know, maybe we should switch this and you could become the member and the other guy could become the sub and actually he agreed with it and I guess maybe you know he didn't have enough time to do it. And really that's kind of how it all started and so I've been with them over 15 years now.
Randy Hulsey 41:16
Okay, and it's so I think I picked up on you saying that the band is not together anymore, though. Correct Kashmiris
Felix Hanemann 41:23
but not Hindenburg?
Randy Hulsey 41:24
Okay, okay. I follow you. I got you. So do you remember what year you joined kind of became a full time member of Kashmir, you
Felix Hanemann 41:33
know, I I you know, I asked him that all the time because I'm really interested in when when actually I did even the first sub gig. But it was a long time ago. I you know, Paul said he's got it written down somewhere. But well, if it's this is 2022, I'm guessing was probably somewhere around 2005. Okay, somewhere up in there. 2004 2006. I really can't put my finger on it. But it has to be somewhere up in there.
Randy Hulsey 42:01
What would you say the ratio of shows Hindenburg to zebra are?
Felix Hanemann 42:07
Well cashmere now.
Randy Hulsey 42:10
I mean, I'm sorry. Yeah, cashmere. Sorry.
Felix Hanemann 42:12
Everybody does that. Yeah. It's the funny I was
Randy Hulsey 42:15
thinking of the question and trying to think of the band at the same time. But yeah, cashmere and zebra.
Felix Hanemann 42:20
Well, cashmere works a lot more than zebra does. Okay. Cashmere works a lot. We we just got finished doing. We were in Guilford New Hampshire. Last weekend. Not this past weekend. But the weekend before last. And then we had to drive down to Boston. Take a flight from Boston to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then drive an hour and a half from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rochester, Minnesota play there on Sunday. drive back to the airport in Minneapolis. Fly to Boston and take our costs from Boston to New York. weekend we are playing with the Denver Symphony Orchestra in Castle Rock, Denver, Colorado. So that's pretty interesting. Now we'll be doing that.
Randy Hulsey 43:10
How do I how do I ask the question? So is is the number of shows that zebra does? Is it because you guys are busy with other projects? Is it because zebra just doesn't want to play they only want to select certain amount of shows. Can you can you talk about that at all.
Felix Hanemann 43:25
It's it's none of those things. So it's really just a matter of promoters. You know, wanting to book the band. And right now, you know tributes are hot. Yeah, even or not, you know, they're everywhere. In fact, that weekend that I was just talking about where we played up in Guildford, New Hampshire was an all tribute festival. And it was in a beautiful outdoor shed. What a great facility and that was us which was cashmere doing Zeppelin AC DC tribute prints zip tribute a cars tribute a Janis Joplin crit tribute and a couple of other ones that I can't even think of right now. And it was all true and the place was packed. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 44:16
I could imagine. So
Felix Hanemann 44:18
with the zebra stuff is has to do with most of it is because of where zebra had had inroads in different parts of the country. You know, there's places and spots like Texas and Houston and Dallas and Louisiana and then in New York, and all those areas. And you know, the Gulf Coast and Florida really, by way because of New York because Florida everybody in New York has a summer home in Florida. They're all snowbirds. And then, you know, we have places like St. Louis where they will play in his heavy and then there were places like that Los Angeles and San Diego and San Francisco who were playing us, you know, so there's, there's little enclaves of places where, you know, people are interested in still seeing zebra and we're fortunate enough to have enough people come in and play those shows, but it's not like, you know, we can't just book a date and say, you know, Kansas City, for instance, you know, you know, we've played Kansas City probably a couple of different times, when only because we were probably openers there. But we didn't have any real history. They're not actually remember whether our record, you know, records at that time, you know, did you know, sometimes you did great in some circuits, and not at all, in some others, you know,
Randy Hulsey 45:47
yeah. And I wasn't sure if it was for lack of aggressively booking or, you know, I didn't know if it was, you have the whole cashmere thing going on guy has his, his teaching school for his drums. And you know, of course, Randy's doing the things that Randy does. And so I didn't know if it was just because, you know, the mindset of the band was, we'll just, we'll just play when we, whenever we have time to play, right? Or if it was really
Felix Hanemann 46:13
well play and whenever were invited. And that's also, of course, it does have to fit into everybody's schedule, but you know, like cashmere has a an agency, but they are, they are a tribute agency, you know, they do a lot of trip bands. And they're known for doing that stuff. And so, and that's why that band, you know, works a lot. But again, you know, everybody who knows who Led Zeppelin is, but not everybody knows who Zebra is.
Randy Hulsey 46:41
Yeah, I guess I guess you have a point there. Well, I've listened to cashmere, I went out on the website and install some of the videos and the band. Sounds fantastic. And of course, I've got I've got my hermit here. I don't know if you can see it in there. Not my Zeplin hermit herb in there. Yep, that's the hermit. So I think back around 2000 as well, you released a solo record. And that was rock candy. Correct? Correct. Tell the listeners about that record. If you remember that far back, right. Sure. That is
Felix Hanemann 47:18
the stuff that I had had in Shepherds Bush. Okay, so that stuff never saw the light of day and I had a friend of mine who had a studio here in New York. And he made an offer to me to do the record and I wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing it. And, you know, I was, you know, happy to get that stuff down on tape, but had never really had made some rough demos, but had never really put any time into the stuff you know, because everything took off with Zebra so it was written really never any time for it and so around 2000 You know, he had made an offer to me to come and do the record and you know, and like I said he had a studio so whenever we had the time together, we would get in there and bang as many songs out you know, we would you know what we would do it's pretty much like you would do any record we try to get all the basic tracks down as much as we could and then you know, if we didn't need anybody else I would do most of the overdubs and things like that whether it was keyboards or guitar vocals and things of that nature. You know, I had got guy and Randy played on it on the actual title track which is rock candy, which is Montrose and that song we've been playing Montrose the rock candy song since zebra started you know,
Randy Hulsey 48:39
I was gonna say that song is very prominent probably in every I've seen you guys play live I'm gonna guess 20 times I've seen your life right and and I've heard that song and every set there you know every show that you guys have played, and I'm only bringing that up because I was going to ask you how big of a fan how big of a Ronnie Montrose fan are you? Are you are you just a huge fan
Felix Hanemann 49:05
of Oh Ronnie Montrose fan as much as I was of the saw the song okay. And the reasons I liked the song was because, you know, they have you know, the new A Star is Born was with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, I guess, is that his name? Yes. And but the steel. There's three of them. Actually. There was one with I can't think of the first guy but the one with Kris Kristofferson, Mr. Streisand. That song was in that soundtrack, the soundtrack where he's taken off, and she's waving bye to him, and he's taken off in a helicopter. And that song is part of that scene right there. And it's a great scene and that song just sounds great in that little spot right there.
Randy Hulsey 49:52
I had no idea. I'll have to go back and look at that, now that you bring it up. I just
Felix Hanemann 49:57
saw that movie not too long ago and it's a really long movie. But I remember that movie pretty well. But you know that that song kind of got me in there. And we liked a lot of different stuff, you know, guy had had the most eclectic taste of the three of us. So, but we used to do you know, wishbone ash, we did some Steely Dan, we did a lot of different stuff that you wouldn't expect a band like us to actually play and we did some Yes, we did Bowie we did Moody Blues. You know, what like to stuff like Steely Dan and Montrose and wishbone. So those were just one offs, you know, just songs that we liked, that we spent and, you know, I'll, I'll also anytime you're doing a cover song, you know, you sometimes there's, there's one of them that you practice, right, and you because you liked them, and you know, maybe they're their popular song, and you hope you can, you know, make it pretty close to where to where the record sounds, but sometimes it just doesn't work, you know, for some reason or another you when you playing the song, it's just doesn't come together. And so some of those songs that I just mentioned, whether it was Montrose, or whether it was which bone ash, which was blown free or real, and in the years, we were able to pull those songs off and pull them off well, and that's why they would stay in the rotation because we were able to, you know, give justice to them, you know? Yes.
Randy Hulsey 51:20
Well, it's interesting that you, you say that about rock candy. I was watching a show on access TV not too long ago, and it's called Sammy Hagar is roadtrip. I don't know if you've heard of the show, but it's basically Sammy. Sammy goes out on the road and meets up with these different artists. And I think there was one episode where he met up with Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and they jam they jammed in the studio to rock candy and Sammy, you know, Sammy is Sammy right? And it man, he just yeah, he can blow on that song. It's so amazing to hear him sing it. But you guys, you guys do a wonderful rendition of the song as well. And you know, it's always looked forward to in the shows when when I come out to see zebra so hats off to you.
Felix Hanemann 52:06
It's a favorite. I love playing it. I don't know. I just enjoy it. Enjoy it, I think is a great song. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 52:12
Okay. Well, I always wondered, you know, man, he must be a really big mantras fan. You know? Maybe maybe not so much
Felix Hanemann 52:18
is that I don't think I can mention
Randy Hulsey 52:20
what other how funny how funny. Fortunately, it's funny how you said that, you know, you pulled that song from A star is born. It just resonated with you. I never saw the original Star is Born. But I saw the one with Lady Gaga. Right. And there's a there's a song in that movie. That is very prominent around, kind of, I think his name was Jack mains. Bradley Cooper's character was Jack mains. And it's a song called maybe it's time and it's written by Jason is bill in the 400 unit out of Nashville. And it was just a song that it just moved me and now I play that song. And every set that I play, right so like, you know, so I get it. I totally get it.
Felix Hanemann 53:02
You never know what's gonna go you know? You really mean it. You know, I think that that's also the beauty of music. You know, it sounds like a pawn but you know, it strikes a chord.
Randy Hulsey 53:13
It absolutely does. And it's interesting, because I stumbled across a great song on YouTube the other day, and it was a song called my my but your strong. That's mine. Yes. And I never I've never heard the song before. And I think this was from our project called Felix Correct. Well, that's
Felix Hanemann 53:34
the solo record. That's the rock candy record,
Randy Hulsey 53:36
speak to speak to the listeners a little bit about that, because I've been a zebra fan since 83. Right? This is the first the like, and I'm a YouTube junkie. And I don't know how I stumbled across this song. But it was a really good song. And so so talk to the listeners a little bit about that. And where can they find this music anywhere? Is it in a vault somewhere that nobody that's not ever gonna see the light of day? Or what's
Felix Hanemann 54:01
the store? It's in a vault. All right. I've always threatened to take them out. I have a bunch of other CDs, you know, really should just sell them. But yeah, I'll guess I'll have to mail you one. But yeah, I but I think you can find a lot of it on YouTube. You can pretty much find everything on YouTube, you know? Yeah. But I didn't. I didn't know that that was on there. You know, there's a lot of things that you find on YouTube that I'm completely unaware of, but I don't really go on YouTube a lot anyway. Okay, so Well, yeah, that song was an older song. That was a song that I think that might have been a Shepherds Bush song, you know, at the time. And that was really kind of a take off on Blackbird by Paul McCartney.
Randy Hulsey 54:44
Okay, yeah. Okay. Well, it might be interesting for you to know that. I read the comments in that song. And somebody was asking where they could get their hands on that music and I think it was the guy that produced it responded and said, if you send me your address, I'll mail it to you. Right. So I didn't know if you knew that or not. But, you know, I thought it was close. Like, I would like to get my hands on it. So if you think about me, and I'll send you an address
Felix Hanemann 55:16
and artists, let me know.
Randy Hulsey 55:19
It was the guy that wrote that stuff. Right? Is it safe to say that, that it's zebra and cashmere, that that takes up most of your time these days? Or are there other side hustles that Felix has going on that? You know, you wake up in the morning? Give us a day in the life of a Felix is, uh, gosh, it's really get up mow the grass? I mean, what do you do? Right, really kind
Felix Hanemann 55:46
of boring? Yeah. I mean, you know, I, unfortunate enough, you know, well, first of all, you know, summer is so fleeting, here in New York, you know, because you live in Texas, you know, so, which is being in use, and you're very parallel with New Orleans, you know, so you know, what the summers are, like, the summers lasts forever there, you know. So when I moved up here, I wasn't really used to that, because, you know, in terms of business wise, you know, the summer is only from, you know, Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, which is 13 weeks, you know, and that's how they kind of view it here. You know, and I never looked at it like that before, because, you know, summer, you know, always kind of started in March or April, they're exactly, that's it, sometimes through October, easily, you know, salutely. And so, you know, but I'm fortunate enough to have a pool in my backyard. So I relish as much time as I can, playing with that. I bicycle a lot, you know, not, not a whole lot. And, you know, just taking care of the hanging out by the house and just doing regular stuff, you know, that's about it. But you know, the, the traveling between zebra and cashmere keeps me busy enough to where I look forward to having a weekend off, you know, I was just off this past weekend, you know, and then I'll be doing the Denver Symphony thing this weekend coming, you can, you can get a hold of cashmere by following casually on cashmere rocks.com. But you can also go to the zebra website, which is I think, zebra band.com, or the dior.com. I think they're both active. And there's a link to the cashmere sight there as well. But like I said, I'm going to be playing in Denver that weekend, and then the following weekend, which is Labor Day weekend, I'll be off so I you know, I, I look forward to the you know, both sides, because the traveling, you know, gets extensive. And, you know, I look forward to the downtime.
Randy Hulsey 57:43
Yeah. And so it sounds like you're working just enough that you want to work. So, you know, that sounds,
Felix Hanemann 57:50
you know, it's pretty, pretty busy, actually. So no, but listen, I'm fortunate, you know, I have a have an original band, it's been together for 47 years, you know, we were fortunate enough to still have a following which is amazing. And, you know, and then I really kind of stepped in it because we all always had played Led Zeppelin with Zebra. It's one that was one of our, you know, staples, you know, in our go to stuff to play, you know, yeah, that wasn't a stretch when they asked me to come and play.
Randy Hulsey 58:20
I mean, it's a testament to you guys. It has to be a brotherhood. You don't stay with guys for 47 years that you don't like right so you have to like guy a little bit you have to like Randy a little bit 47 years that's a long time no matter how you slice it. It's really more
Felix Hanemann 58:38
like brothers you know, because you know, you can get really mad you can you can love your brother you know you you can't pick your brother because you know he was your brother but you know that we kind of wound up that way and yeah, you know, we're really very different people all three of us, you know, and we all come from very different guys actually from Oakland, California originally. And you know, and Randy's parents were both attorneys. So he came grew up in a different way than I did you know, and but you know, it works we you know, I think I think our work ethic really was the thing that you know kept us together and I think that that works for us in Cashmere and you know like these these guys you know when was supposed to be there at three o'clock followed him where they're at to you know, if we can get in earlier we try to make take advantage of it. I mean, you know, you know, Nobody drinks drinks or does drugs anymore, you know, so that's a big thing
Randy Hulsey 59:33
always helps to be on time right? Well, I heard you know that Randy was kind of the the perfectionist but it sounds like you guys all have a degree of that. Do you all have a degree of the perfection? OCD or or is he kind of the guy like that in the band and you guys just follow suit or is your personality a lot like that too? No, that's
Felix Hanemann 59:58
exactly right. He he does Well he's got a Randy has an incredible ear. So you know you have to when you're in the music business it's one of the you know biggest things to attribute your ability to play and understand what music is doing and what's going on and to grasp it and to be able to play like he plays and he's a phenomenal guitar player forget about how well he writes and how well he can sing. He's a killer guitarist yes
Randy Hulsey 1:00:25
I agree. And off the record I just realized you have your your Florida Lee up behind you and I also have my my daughter design that an art class right there so Okay, for the listeners that won't see the video here. We Felix and I share a little something in common in our in our rooms that we're that we're coming in from so I want to change gears just real quick with you and talk about gear, you know, keyboards and guitars being that I'm the musician as well. Is there a keyboard of choice for you? Is there is there a working keyboard that you use in all of your shows? Do you alternate it with keys between cashmere and zebras at the same equipment for both bands talk a little bit about that just from the keyboard keyboard perspective
Felix Hanemann 1:01:18
I'll start with the the bass stuff is pretty simple. I mean, I use Ampeg amps and cabinets pretty much exclusively not because I have a deal with them it's just that it's the workhorse of the business and has been you know since pretty much the beginning of time you know and I just love those amps and I love those cabinets and I play an Ivan as SG bass guitars for string and that is a an excellent base I've had several of them I mean I've AB them to many different bases specters and all kinds of different products and you know that's my go to base and I've been having many of them before and that's an act of bass I really like active basis which means it's it has a battery in it and it makes the pickups jump a little bit in terms of of how it sounds when it's plugged in. Interesting okay and you know most bases are the way bases used to be they were just passive and you know all the P bases and jazz bases and all that stuff. We're all at like non active bases and I was but I was playing a lot of weapon backers back then and Rickenbacker was tend to have a lot of top end on them Paul McCartney played them Geddy Lee's played them I had had three different ones I even had an Olympic at one time but all of my bases in the early days from Zebra got stolen so but my my Ivan as is really my go to base and that's pretty much it. I don't I don't use any pedals or anything like that. I'm just a straight basis for string on on my Ivan has with a Ampeg head and Ampeg cabinet. That's it to keyboards
Randy Hulsey 1:03:09
are real quick. I was going to say I think that that Houston has a black eye because your stuff was stolen in Houston was it not? Yes, 1980's and then and then it came up on another interview that you guys had some good friends up in Long Island that put on a benefit that helped you guys get that year back and it was good,
Felix Hanemann 1:03:31
wasn't twisted, Southern Cross and a couple of other bands I think had put a benefit together for us because what happened was we had a truck and we were in Houston at the time. And that was all idea but you know, we were we invested a lot in the band if there was different gear that came out or there was newer gear that came out that we thought that it could could improve the band whether it was a new board, whether it was a new mic, or whether it was you know, something that could make the band sound better, we would add it to the gear but the problem was when whenever we bought new stuff we failed to add it to the insurance list you know, not thinking anything of that yeah, so you know as we kept acquiring gear, you know, and you know making the show bigger and better. You know that stuff got stolen a lot of that stuff that was on the truck was never on on the list right? So it wasn't just the gear was the truck and it was everything that we had you know
Randy Hulsey 1:04:31
well I hate that that happened and Houston of all places but before you before you move on to the keyboards I wanted to ask you because I'm not a bass player. There's a lot of bass players that have moved to five string six string basses like what why did Felix stay on a four string like what are you just are you just stuck in time? Is there no need? Is there no need like like and I'm I'm legitimately asking that question because I'm making a little fun, you know, to try to be funny here, my comedic self. But what why would a bass player go to a five string or a six string versus just staying on a four string bass?
Felix Hanemann 1:05:09
Well, I mean, you know, that's an argument Randy could have with you over me. Okay? The thing is, is that like, Take, for instance, why and time Arabian Nights, about to make the time and a couple of other songs, pour in Drop D, okay. And that means you taking the E string, which is the lowest string on the four strings of the bass, and you're tuning them tuning it down to D, so that you can drop down a whole step. And what that does is it allows you to play a little bit lower. But some of those songs, the way he had structured them, required that, but you know, if you were an adept player, like I am not, you would go and get a five string bass, and you would learn how to play that. But you know, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. In my case, it's Felix the Cat on old cat new tricks. But you know, that's much to Randy's chagrin, you know, because a lot of times when he got to tune down to D, you know, I think that happened to us, in fact, at Houston, and we were starting to song, I think we were going to do a lullaby and the guitar was still tuned out. And we're starting the song, and I had to stop it, you know, because it wasn't the right tuning. So
Randy Hulsey 1:06:32
but you know, what, you know, what's funny is now, probably a little more people than we would expect, but I always say, out of everybody that was at that place, only the real musicians catch little intricacies in a show like that, right? 8089 to 95% of the other people that were there. They don't even know what tuning up or tuning down even mean, so it didn't mean anything to them anyway. Right. So Right? Well,
Felix Hanemann 1:06:58
yeah, I know, you had really tried to play it with the drop DNS, something that's supposed to be in regular tunings be really hard, you have to really be thinking about it, you know, to, it does make it harder. And I should always have a second base just tuned that way. Or I should have, I should learn what a five string is, and make Randy happy at at the end of the 47th. Year,
Randy Hulsey 1:07:23
well, I was gonna say at this point in the game, right? Why teach the old dog new tricks, right? And you said that you're you call yourself an old dog. So now I'm just saying what you said, but I mean, what's the point in in learning it now right at that, you know,
Felix Hanemann 1:07:37
I mean, you know, I'm just so you know, I'm just so comfortable with it. And if you I don't know, if you've Well, I mean, you're not a bass player, but if you have a pick up a five string bass, it's really a different instrument, because the low string on the basis is a B, you know, and anytime I've gone up on stage, you know, and there's a guy, they invite me up to play, and they have a five string, even though the next string is an E, like, all bases are, it's still E, A, D, G, but what you know, your muscle memory about where you're going to go and hit those numbers, is always starting with that top string, right. And so I you know, every time that somebody has a five string, and and I've actually tried to go up and play it, and you know, my, I've been doing it. I've been playing for strings since I'm 14 years old. So you know, it's really hard. So if I ever see somebody up in a five string and asked me to come up, I just declined, because I just keep messing it up.
Randy Hulsey 1:08:40
Sure. Well, I think you would agree
Felix Hanemann 1:08:42
because different instruments Yeah, you have to learn how
Randy Hulsey 1:08:45
to play it. Absolutely. And I think you would agree being a guitarist, not just a bass player, but you started out on the guitar, even when you change the nut size on an acoustic and go to a smaller nut or bigger nut that's foreign to because your fingers are trained to that site. They're the width of the fretboard right? So it's really no different either coming up or down. But you know, it's it's all foreign. And you're it's muscle memory at the end of the day, right? Yeah, that's how people can play the piano and the guitar without looking at it because it's a feel thing. They've done it so many times. And if you change that, a fraction if you take one key out of the keyboard, all bets are off, right is not the same and that's why it's happened to
Felix Hanemann 1:09:29
me while we're playing. You know, every once in a while a P A key gets stuck or something like that. And, you know, of course, for whatever reason at that moment, that's the key you needed. Whether even if it's an E flat or whatever, it's ridiculous, you know?
Randy Hulsey 1:09:43
Well, you were you're on your way over into a conversation about the key Share, share your story about the keys and what you play. Yes. Well,
Felix Hanemann 1:09:49
the thing about the keyboards is that yes, I do have a particular keyboard and a particular company that I do use, however, the the Litany over the history of us playing keyboards started almost at the very beginning. And we went through, we morphed a lot in the beginning because all keyboards pre MIDI, which was around 1985, or 1986. And to anybody that doesn't know what MIDI means a new means musical instrumental digital interface, mi Di. And that means that you can take one instrument and plug it into another and physically play it. And that way you're stealing for the lack of a better term of borrowing the instrumentation that's on that other key keyboard anyway, so and now you can even do it with guitars, there are some MIDI guitars, however, but before then we would have you know, they would have the Mellotron which was what Paul McCartney and the Beatles used, and so did Zeppelin, you know, which was Strawberry Fields and stairway. And we didn't have the money to be able to buy that keyboard back then the Mellotron and so there was this play, there was this keyboard called the aka Straughn, which was a head discs, but they weren't discs like an album, they were literally floppy disks, they were plastic, and they had these little bitty, it almost looked like the thing you see when you scan a product to purchase it in a grocery store. So when you put this thing on, and you'd put the shift on and the light would shine through, and when you would hit the keyboard, it would play the note, okay, and each disc had a different sound, whether it was flutes, or strings acquire or whatever it was. And then we would use that we had we went into the maxi Korg keyboard, which was a bull, such an analog synthesizer, and that's what we use to play our bass with, with my left hand. And then it was irregular, probably I'm trying to think of the first keyboard, it might have been a chord, but I'm thinking it was something else it could have been a Roland, which was probably either a 61, or a 77. key keyboard. Okay. So there was three of them there. The orchestra, one was for the flutes and strings, the piano one was for the piano, because that played, you know, a lot of different little different things. And there was another one later on. So there was there was there was a lot of evolvement with the keyboards and there was another one called the Kumar, and then then the digital stuff came out. And that opened up the whole world for us. And there was these keyboards called emulators. And emulators look like what an old Farfisa organ used to look like. I'm pretty sure nobody knows what it for faesal looks like in this in this audience listening, but they may. But anyway, so they were they were big, but back then. They were medieval. But there was no such thing as brains back then like right now you can have a whole rack of brains. Yeah. So if you wanted the keyboard, you'd have to have each keyboard for each sound. So like take, for instance, with bears, bears has choir strings and bells in it all at the same time. So you had to have three separate cables. And that was in the beginning part of the second record, you know, because we hit bears was in there. And we were doing a lot of different stuff back then. And if that stuff went down, you know, because it's a computer, you know, basically, that's what they are. And it would just go down and not only would one of them go down, but all three would go down. And then you'd have to wait for them to boot back up back to the beginning of that technology. So then at that point, you just pick your base up and you start doing ZZ tops to get out of the show. Yeah, but you know, all that stuff has really changed and Randy is very, very good at programming stuff. But not normally I have two M ones chords that I use for, for cashmere and we have Tritons that we use for zebra. And the Tritons can be split, you know, with the left hand playing bass and high bass, which was the dumb yell around Skype type of sound and who's behind the door and tell me what you want. And then with the right hand, I can do strings, choirs, bells, you know, all kinds of different sounds, horns, all kinds of different things.
Randy Hulsey 1:14:26
So you're basically being you're playing to two musicians parts and I'm sure you know a lot of times you're playing baseline, you know, like a bass guitarist would play with with something over the top of it from the keyboard. Yeah, for sure. And you mentioned bears and, and the bells and the strings. I remember you know, that really pops to me now that you mentioned that so and bears of course was off the No telling No telling lies. Record right. Now are you a formally trained player or are you a play by ear player? Or are you a hybrid of the two bit
Felix Hanemann 1:15:05
of both. I am a minorly formally trained guy, I started off just by ear. And then I started taking lessons. And out in college, I was taking classical piano and classical guitar for a little while, okay, but I didn't stick with it long, because during the time that I was in college, the band started taking off. So I really kind of just stopped doing that. Which was unfortunate, because the keyboard thing would have been much made it a lot easier for me to stick with it until I had separation of hands, you know, so I have to work harder at my keyboard stuff than I do anything else.
Randy Hulsey 1:15:41
I gotcha. Who would you say your musical influence? You know, you mentioned the Beatles earlier, but maybe even back, I suck at math or I'm trying to do the math here like, age and all that kind of stuff. But let's just say your your formidable years where you're a young teenager, like what turns you on musically as a teenager, right?
Felix Hanemann 1:16:04
The 60s stuff was just killing it for me, okay. And I was going to go and see every band that I could live I was in. I was, I was infatuated with the whole scene. I was infatuated with the whole 60s things was it would just it inspired me so much. And I was just you know, and also but I was I was really a troubadour in the beginning, you know, my stuff. I was really into Dylan, and Donovan and Cat Stevens and stuff like that. I loved all of that stuff. I played a lot of that stuff when I was you know, when I was just doing stuff, you know, doing coffee houses and things like filmer.
Randy Hulsey 1:16:47
Were you were you a Lightfoot? Fan. Lightfoot. Yeah, Gordon Lightfoot. Absolutely. Croce Croce those guys his
Felix Hanemann 1:16:54
stuff. But I did Dylan and I did Donovan and I did you know what the Beatles also had a lot of acoustic Stokes, you know, whether it was Blackbird or Giulia, and, you know, they, I mean, they're, they're, you know, a lot of people don't attribute that but you know, that's what you know, Blackbird and yesterday was all acoustic Beatles and your Norwegian would for that matter, and all that kind of stuff, you know?
Randy Hulsey 1:17:20
Well as you as you go from being a young kid and kind of sucking up all of that stuff, kind of making you the musician that you are today. Who do you listen to these days? Like who inspires you these days? Or I always say it kind of tongue in cheek, I turned off the radio and 89
Felix Hanemann 1:17:37
artists to me, and they're both not new, but they're new in terms of of, you know, coming back from the 60s because they both been around about 40 years and it's it's Tom Petty and Dave Grohl. Okay, you know, I mean, Tom Petty, Tom Petty, you know, I was I came late to the table with Tom Petty and and never did get to see him play live. And I you know, and I was listening to him when Tom Petty radio before he passed away. And, you know, the more I listened to him and I listened to and hear him speak and listen to the band that that band was incredible, you know, Benmont Tench and, and Mike Campbell. Fantastic, you know, and the more I listened to them, the more I you know, I fell in love with that stuff and say and it's true of a Foo Fighters, you know, and Foo Fighters really is on the edge of me not liking it because I'm really not a metal guy. You know, that kind of like a little bit of speed metal or something, you know, but, you know, they still have a lot of he's still got a lot of melody in it. I'm really a melody guy and really a Paul McCartney guy, you know, but those two artists to me are, you know, fantastic, you know?
Randy Hulsey 1:18:52
Well Dave Grohl is very talented for sure. And I can't say that I was ever a Nirvana fan, right? I was never a grunge fan for that. I respect it and I appreciate it. But I just I just didn't listen to it. But But I enjoy a lot of Grohl stuff now with the Foo Fighters that you know, I just never listened to the whole grunge movement so yeah, yeah, I don't know what I was doing. I don't even remember
Felix Hanemann 1:19:18
but that was strong songs by you know STP and Pearl Jam that are did
Randy Hulsey 1:19:23
go for absolutely absolutely no, there was some great songs that came out of the I'm just saying that I wasn't running out buying the albums like a you know from the 80s or the 70s.
Felix Hanemann 1:19:33
But over time they won me over I guess is what I'm saying you know, they the more I paid attention to it, the more I realized that you know, they put the work in you know, the talent was there Mike Campbell is is completely a very underrated guitarist. I think he's a monster. Yeah. You know, there's a desert track. I don't know if you familiar with Tom Petty or not, but it's called I should have known Sure. You listen to that song. It sounds like Zepplin it's amazing for sure. It is fantastic. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:20:06
I've got Tom Petty with Tom Petty in the in the arsenal on vinyl over there, it's in it and it sounds the best on vinyl anyway, you know, you see the zebra record there. And I just started this whole vinyl thing maybe a year ago. And I tell you, Felix, like, I haven't touched a record in a year, like decades, right. And that first record, I don't remember, which was the first piece of vinyl that I bought. But it was so nostalgic to open that thing for the first time and just put your hands on a record.
Felix Hanemann 1:20:38
You know, high tides green grass greatest hits of the rolling staff staring at the record. Yes. I mean, Brian Jones was one of my favorites. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:20:47
it's a great, it's a great experience to just see the liner notes and pull that sleeve out, you know, we don't get to do that with digital music anymore. So it would just, it took me back to a place in time. That was really cool. You know, very nostalgic, agree. What's what's coming up for you musically. What can you speak up musically? That you know, maybe maybe it's new, maybe you have nothing coming up other than just, you know, your your your dealings with the shows was zebra and, and cashmere. But is there anything that that's new and exciting that might be coming up that the listeners might be interested in?
Felix Hanemann 1:21:22
Right now, I mean, you know, I'm always game, you know, something comes up and you know, the guys want to do a do some recordings and stuff like that. I'm always game, you know, but right now, I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now with the way things are, you know, after being together this long and doing this stuff this long, you know, you kind of wind up I guess, where you were supposed to be sure. And I feel pretty much that's where I'm at, you know, when and I love to play I love traveling. I love the country traveling in America, America is a beautiful country. You know, and it's it's so interesting with the dialects and every place you know, the whole Southwest is an entity to itself, the whole northwest as an entity to itself, the whole northeast as the whole south is, you know, and you know, the greatest thing about Texas when you know we used to play a lot about Texas, the Texas is one of the funniest states because it is its own culture in much like New Orleans is or but it's but it's more broad and it's more ingrained in people. We used to play a lot of colleges to in Texas, you know, and a lot of times we would pull up to the colleges, and you need and you'd have all these kids who were college students who would be volunteers helping the whoever the the promoters were doing the shows, you know, for the colleges, you know, you'd set up in the gyms and things like that. And you'd have a black guy, a white guy and a Chinese guy and they all had cowboy boots on and they all had cowboy hats on. And the funniest thing was that first they were Texans then they were Americans and then they were whatever ethnicity they weren't because they all sounded the same and spoke the same address the same and I didn't care what race or culture they were they were Texans first and I just thought was like, wow, I don't think he could go to another place. You know, maybe Wyoming. Right. But but Texas is so much more prolific, you know? It's a western culture. It's amazing. Well,
Randy Hulsey 1:23:35
I have to I have to be the voice of so many zebra fans uh, you know over the years you know when I asked you and you know, any anything new musically coming up you know, so many bands that we put out 1015 Sometimes 20 albums right? So we hear these guys over the years putting out new material. And then when you're drawn to a band like zebra and you have you guys have such a cult following, there's so many loyal zebra fans. And and I think there was six albums that you guys came out with but you know, it always leaves the fan wanting more they always want more if you put out 20 albums, they want 21 albums if you put out 23 They wanted 25 Right? So I the voice for the fan would say we would love more music from Zebra. But but certainly we all as fans respect the place where you guys are musically and if we if we got another one out of you, that's great. So I'm just throwing that out there for whatever it's worth just throwing it out there for the for the listeners and the fans, right I did my due diligence. I did my due diligence.
Felix Hanemann 1:24:49
We get it all the time. You know, nobody's nobody's adverse to doing it. It's really a matter of time. You know, I know that Randy has material and is also old songs that are pretty called gems that have never seen a light of day, you know, which was kind of like what happened to some of the songs on the fourth record to free. And my life has changed in many ways. Those two songs we used to play all the time live, and those songs never made it to any of the first three albums. Yeah, so those so songs made it to the fourth record, and I'm glad they did because those those songs are some of my favorite songs. Sure.
Randy Hulsey 1:25:27
Where can you mentioned it earlier? But where can the listeners again, if you don't mind repeating where the listeners can find you guys on social media? I think the door was worn Of course,
Felix Hanemann 1:25:40
we're we have a Twitter on Twitter, there's a zebra Twitter account and my account is at Felix underscore zebra. And Randy's is I think is Randy and at Randy underscore zebra, and then there's an at Zebra ban Twitter account, and they can also find us on our website. I don't I think Randy might be on Facebook. I don't think I'm on Facebook yet.
Randy Hulsey 1:26:06
Sure. Randy, Randy is and gotten guys to their friends of mine. I'm
Felix Hanemann 1:26:11
not on Facebook, but somebody has somebody's running a Facebook page for me, but I'm not on it. Okay. No particular reason I just never did get in on it.
Randy Hulsey 1:26:21
I hear you. And then cashmere is cashmere. rocks.com. Right. Yeah. Courtney
Felix Hanemann 1:26:27
rocks.com. Yep. Okay.
Randy Hulsey 1:26:29
Felix Hanemann 1:26:31
you know, if somebody wants to say hello, they can they can say hello to me on Twitter to Twitter has DM which is direct messaging, you know, but as a lot of people who don't get on Twitter, you know, Twitter's not as famous as Facebook is, but that's fine with me. I really liked the, the, the layout of Twitter, I'm used to it, you know, it's only there for a few minutes. You know, if you hit the thing and it goes back up, you've you've written about it right. 1000 messages, you know, but But you know, you pick up wherever you left off, you know, so that's
Randy Hulsey 1:27:03
that's kind of the the platform that you're active on yourself, right? Is this a Twitter? I'm
Felix Hanemann 1:27:08
going there a lot. Okay. I like it actually. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 1:27:10
Good to know. You know, I want to thank you, Felix, for rounding out the trilogy here for me, so to speak.
Felix Hanemann 1:27:18
I'm glad I was able to make it happen. Yeah, it's
Randy Hulsey 1:27:21
it's a, it's been a great chat. And I appreciate the time, I really do. And thank you for all the great music over the years. And again, if we hear more from you, that'll be even greater but, but nevertheless, I'd like to also thank the listeners for listening in and I remind you guys to like, share and subscribe to the podcast. Also, don't forget to follow Felix on his social media platforms on Twitter and then of course, the dora.com and cashmere rocks.com. Just a quick reminder also that you can find the show on Facebook at backstage pass radio podcast, on Instagram at backstage pass radio, Twitter at backstage pass PC, and on the website at backstage pass. radio.com You guys stay safe and healthy. And thank you again for tuning in to Backstage Pass radio.
Adam Gordon 1:28:15
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed today's episode of backstage pass radio. Make sure to follow Randy on Facebook and Instagram at Randy Halsey music and on Twitter at our Halsey music. Also, make sure to like, subscribe and turn on alerts for upcoming podcasts. If you enjoyed the podcast, make sure to share the link with a friend and tell them backstage pass radio is the best show on the web for everything music. We'll see you next time right here on backstage pass radio